5 Tips for International Students Looking to Obtain Citizenship

Image by Francisco Osorio, Flickr

Image by Francisco Osorio, Flickr

Many students who go abroad for their long-term education intend to stay in that country for the opportunities it presents. The problem for students studying in the United States who want to remain, find work, and live here is that you need to have citizenship – a green card – to do so. There are a number of ways to attain a green card (some are more likely to succeed than others) and some of the most common of these are discussed below.

Getting married to a United States citizen is the most sure-fire way of getting your green card. After marriage, your spouse can sponsor you as a family member. However, you can’t just get married for a green card. You will likely be made to prove that your marriage is a real one of love and intention to stay together. You will receive a 2 year temporary green card, and after it expires, if you’re still married, you will receive a permanent one. Don’t go getting married just to get a green card!

Green Card Lottery
The US holds a lottery where they give out a set number of green cards to random applicants each year. There are some criteria to enter and of course there’s no guarantee of success, but it’s worth a try.

Job Sponsorship
If, after completing your education, you are offered a job in the US, your employer can sponsor your green card, but this can be a long and difficult process and one business owners usually try to avoid.

In the hopefully unlikely scenario that your home country is dangerous and your return home would risk your life, you may be able to apply for asylum in the US.

Family Sponsorship
If you have a parent or child who is a citizen of the United States, they may be able to sponsor your green card. The chances of this being the case for you are probably pretty low, but if it is the case then you’re in luck.

Attaining a green card is almost never a short process, so it’s safest to begin as soon ahead of time as possible. Immigration law, according to an expert from the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., is complicated and can present many challenges for immigrants. This is why it is essential to have an experienced attorney to offer counsel on how to proceed in your green card application process. It will likely be a long and difficult journey, but if you stick with it you’re more likely to succeed eventually. In any scenario, be sure to talk to an immigration lawyer for assistance, as they are trained to help you navigate and streamline the process as much as possible.

This article was contributed by guest author Emma Sturgis.